EU Should Not Make Platforms the Judges of Free Speech

March 29, 2018

A recent threat by the European Commission to hold platforms responsible for their users' posts would preclude due process by pushing platforms to remove anything they are unsure about before any court has ruled it illegal, lest they find themselves on trial as well. Platforms should remove indisputably illegal content. But as the Center for Data Innovation’s Nick Wallace writes for EUobserver, forcing platforms to remove less obviously illegal content would threaten lawful free speech. Making platforms liable for when users might violate different national laws would undermine the Digital Single Market and harm European Internet users. The commission should withdraw both the recommendation its threat to regulate, and work with industry on voluntary practices to address clearly illegal activity, while leaving decisions about the limits to free speech to the courts.